The fourth estate gets a new home

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Since the public supposedly can’t stand the media, and newspaper circulation keeps dropping, it seems an inauspicious moment to open a $450 million museum dedicated to the news.

However, that’s what happens next week, when the Newseum unlocks its doors along Pennsylvania Avenue, the tourist-friendly strip linking the White House and the U.S. Capitol.

But with journalism being about ideas, not artifacts, how does the Newseum justify a $20 admission fee to inform visitors about the news — especially when most Washington museums charge nothing?

For Charles Overby, the Newseum’s chief executive, the purpose is not to create a shrine glorifying journalists or replicating a reporter’s DNA on white walls. No, he’s trying to provide visitors with a memorable — and informative — experience.

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